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14 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2022 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Last year, IPC held its first-ever design com- petition at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego. PCB designers from around the world competed in a series of heats during the months before the show, culminating in a showdown on the show floor between the top three finalists. Rafal Prz- eslawski, now with AMD, took home the top prize last year. is year, the competition is back for its sophomore year. I asked Patrick Crawford, manager of design standards and related pro- grams for IPC, to "lay out" the details on the design contest, including lessons learned in 2022 and what's new for the 2023 competition. Andy Shaughnessy: Patrick, I see that the IPC Design Competition is returning for its sec- ond year. Give us the rundown on this exciting event. Patrick Crawford: It is indeed, and we're happy that it's coming back. As with last year, the IPC Design Competition is a venue for PCB design engineers to test their mettle. We have two heats of challenge, with the first heat occur- ring in Fall 2022, and the final heat onsite in San Diego in January. e first heat involves a full board buildup, where designers receive an electrical schematic, a BOM, and a scope of work. ey then must input the schematic into their respective design tools and, aer they work their magic, output a Gerber file pack- age, assembly, and fabrication drawing. We choose the best three designs and designers, then invite them to compete in the finals heat. e finals heat is a bit different from the earlier stages: We provide a nearly complete Altium Designer file, so the designers will only be responsible for placement and routing. We The Battle of the Boards

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